Belle Harvey is a woman for all seasons, whether mesmerising audiences performing her own songs on guitar and lead vocals or as the perfect foil as a bassist and backing singer for others. That versatility and willingness to serve the music is what has made her into one of Western Australia’s most respected roots music players.
“The beauty about alt-country and folk music I feel is being able to tell a story with heart, soul and passion in a way that people can relate to or connect with.”
Over the last decade, the 2016 WAM Best Country Act Nominee has performed across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and in the UK – in a number of different outfits, opening for acts such as The Waifs, John Butler Trio, Clare Bowditch, Magic Dirt, Nathan Gaunt, Damian Leith, Diesel, Dave Mann and Andrew Winton. She has also shared bills with Mental as Anything, Blue Shady, Renee Geyer and performed at festivals including Tamworth Country Music Festival (NSW), Gympie Muster (QLD), Bungendore (NSW) West Coast Blues and Roots Fringe Festival (WA), Nannup Music Festival (WA), Wignalls Blues Festival (WA) and Southbound (WA).
“Nothing in the world can ever beat the feeling of performing your music to a live audience. Cutting a record is a great trophy of a moment in time, something you can reminisce with and reflect upon, but being able to perform the songs in the flesh is so real, convincing and emotional. The responses you get to each song from the audience, the way people react to the music is always different and most of the time, rewarding. It reminds you that you are on the right track, making people feel something, feel good or sad or nostalgic. It’s quite a powerful and endorphin-rush of a thing to have.”
Belle’s own songs are always deeply imbued with her infectious personality, whether that is on stage or in the recording studio. The spirit of the performance sits high in the mix as she sings about affairs of the heart and the mind with a voice that fits the folk and country world perfectly. There’s just the right amount of ache and yearning to give the songs a sense of honesty, pathos and verve.
In September 2015, Belle released her heartache-soaked single Lonesome, followed (in June 2016) by Bridges Burn, a precursor to her upcoming debut solo album. The new record was produced by one of the greats of Australian country music, Bill Chambers and features, among others, Brendan Gaspari, her right hand, left hand(ed) man, collaborator and co-writer. The new album promises to be a major stepping stone in Belle’s musical life as she continues to advance her songwriting and enjoy the rich experiences of life on the road – with her solo and band shows and as an integral member of Ruby Boots’ live band.
Belle Harvey will release her debut album in April next year and will tour nationally in support of her release.
“Travelling and being on the road with music, you are ALWAYS meeting great new people. Every tour I go on I always stumble on an opportunity or helpful network that I never would have discovered had I not done that trip. For example, I never would have met Bill Chambers, I never would’ve become a more seasoned songwriter, I never would have written half the songs on this album, I never would’ve had the great musos working on this album. I’ve always believed in traveling with music as much as possible – as opportunities, networks and great friendships are out there waiting for you to join them!”
[Photo by Kelly Glisenti]